With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Journey Inside the Mind of the Architect Who Designed My Penthouse

My penthouse is simply the best money can buy. And yet there are certain features which I have had to adjust to. I am not simply talking about the flatulent ghost. I am talking about the layout and design of the penthouse. In the past weeks I developed an interest in who came up with the plan. So I did some research and found my luxurious home was designed by influential architect Larry Kahn, brother of the better known Louis Kahn. Given their absolute genius I assume I am somehow related to them, but I don't know exactly how.

(Justin's legs reflected in the bathroom mirror as he takes a picture into the kitchen)

In the standard biography Larry Kahn: Man or Myth we read, "Larry constantly tried to erase his personality from his work. One rare exception is that Larry had a reoccuring dream where he prepares a delicious meal only to find that his bathroom has vanished. For this reason Larry frequently put a window between bathroom and kitchen so that he could peer into the bathroom. Sadly, visitors to the homes designed by Kahn often get the impression that their host is a freak."

Well, that explains that.

(Pictured: Though it may not be obvious the board is bevelled. This means that, though for no apparent reason there is a door on the kitchen, it can not be shut more than half way.)

I quote from an interview about Kahn found in The Early Modernist Architecture of Larry Kahn. "Larry, you know, would often guestimate things. A lot of things. Like how much space a door needs beneath it to close. One would think that even someone less than a world famous architect would be able to figure this one out. Someone like, say a fifth grader. Because what is the point of a door that is immobile. That's a wall. Larry's utter love of guestimating earned him the nickname Larry "Submarine Screen Door" Kahn for his completely useless, yet nonetheless cutting edge, doors.

When you put it into historical context I am not so bitter.

"Kahn used to put up satellite dishes, as in plural,just to remind residents about the saturation of media in our lives."
---From A Comparative Study of Marshal Mcluhan and Larry Kahn

Maybe it is silly to speculate about such things, but I wonder what Kahn would have done if he were desigining in the Age of Blogs (which I have decided begins today.)


part-time buddha said...

I'm too tired. Can the Age of Blogs begin tomorrow? I mean, today already has the solstice. It doesn't need another claim to fame.

Urbakon said...

Re: The beveled wood photo.

I like the use of the three different tones and grains of wood, juxtaposed by the very fabricated linolium floor on the opposite side of the beveled demarkation line. Or is that just a plain roll out floor, and not individual tiles? If so, its meaning is even more special, as the uniformality of one solid floor vs three smaller pieces of wood implies a lack of permanence in organic products, forecasting their inevetable downfall. Long live man made materials!

Also, have you considered an alternate career in architectural photography?

Justin said...

P T B:
Sorry, I didn't know you were tired. Hope everything o.k.

So be it: The Age of Blogs begins tomorrow (6:00ish, O.K.?)


Justin said...


Actually my primary career is in architectural photos.

Two answer your question I had to photoshop in the linolium. My kitchen actually has a dirt floor.


part-time buddha said...

6:00ish is good for me. I'll even skip watching the Daily Show so I can be fully alive and alert, my fingers nimble and itching for the blog.

Jenn said...

The penthouse seems baffling enough to be your abode. You couldn't live in any old ordinary place designed by ordinary architects who made sense, could you?

I like the whole Kahn touch. It makes it comforting, somehow, to know.

QuillDancer said...

Should you ever search for and find a home totally quirk free, as soon as you moved in it would have at least one.

Justin said...

Is that some kind of principle of architecutre?

Justin said...

Oh, I get it. me?Me? ME? Really?

Justin said...

Jenn: Yeah, but I wish my whole country where exotic. Justin

Jenn said...

Exotic as in not Kahn-esque?

Then don't worry my dear Justin, the whole world would be exotic by those standards.

You have a peculiar form of logic to everything you do..or don't do.

And there can only be one of you.

Jenn said...

Micronesia is exotic...

Justin said...

Why micronesia? I want to go to Lumpar Lumpar Land.


Jenn said...

Subtle differences in geographical location...

nicely said...

hello! I just won a housing unit from a raffle and dropping by to fetch some ideas on architectural designs. I just came to drop by :)

Justin said...

nicely,well I hope you found something of value and drop by again. j.

Donnak said...

LOL @quilldancer; too funny.

Justin said...

donnak: I better watch that quildancer. Can't have her stealing the show. J.

ArtieLange said...

I really enjoy your blog. I happened upon it randomly.

--Fred lloyd Wright